Broken Light: A Photography Collective

We are photographers living with or affected by mental illness; supporting each other one photograph at a time. Join our community, submit today!

Regrown

Photo taken by first-time contributor Craig A. Miller, a 37-year-old author, speaker, photographer, and suicide attempt survivor from Boston. For many years he struggled with OCD, extreme anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts. After a suicide attempt nearly ended his life at age 20, he became dedicated to understanding what led him to such a decision, and more importantly how he could gain control of himself and his life to ensure it would never happen again. He published a book in 2012 titled, This is How it Feels: a memoir of attempting suicide and finding life. He is a member of The Massachusetts Coalition for Suicide Prevention and regularly speak everywhere from libraries to state conferences sharing his story and the steps he took to move forward.

About this photo: “Writing is an incredible process. It has the power to heal me like nothing else I have ever experienced. When I write, the pain inside me is taken apart, one piece at a time, and given to the page in front of me. I wrote my first book during a three month period when I was home recovering from surgery. I wrote about my struggles with OCD, depression, and fear. I wrote about years of molestation, neglect, and bullying. I wrote about having my heart broken, feeling alone in the world, and constantly fighting suicide. But more importantly, I wrote about the power of belief, trust, and hope. I wrote about letting go, moving on, and choosing to love life for all it is made of. Sometime during the three months I wrote, a storm damaged a tree outside my window. The tree had to be taken down. I finished the last chapters of my book to the sound of branches falling to the ground. Each piece of the tree was cut smaller and smaller, some parts even shredded. By the time I finished writing, the tree was gone. It had been taken down one branch at a time, while the most painful moments of my life lay on the pages before me.

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**Visit Broken Light’s main gallery here. Currently accepting submissions.

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14 comments on “Regrown

  1. samanthapugsley
    August 19, 2013

    Your entire story gave me chills. My brother is a survivor of suicide. He doesn’t like to talk about his struggle with it. If someone ever brings it up he just stares at them like he has no idea what they are talking about. I’ll be purchasing a copy of your book to give to him. Maybe it’ll help him.

    Like

    • Craig A. Miller
      August 20, 2013

      Thank you, Samantha. I wish the best for your brother and hope he continues to move forward. Your work is beautiful btw.

      Like

  2. pammyv02
    August 19, 2013

    Very touching story. Glad that you decided to share your experience. It will certainly help everyone

    Like

    • Craig A. Miller
      August 20, 2013

      Thank you for the feedback, Pammy. I love your black and whites. Makes me want to swim the ocean to see the sights myself.

      Like

  3. Paula McLane Jennings
    August 19, 2013

    so happy that your writing has brought you such healing. I also suffer with MDD and GAD and have found writing to be very helpful as well. I am doing ok right now and have not been writing regularly but when I was in the hospital in March and April and for a few months thereafter I was writing a lot everyday.

    Like

    • Craig A. Miller
      August 20, 2013

      Thank you, Paula. I wish you all the best. My wife scrapbooks as well. I’ll pass along your site.
      Stay creative!

      Like

  4. Syncopated Eyeball
    August 19, 2013

    Thank you.

    Like

  5. embracethecontradictions
    August 20, 2013

    This picture is awesome! I would frame it and hang it on my wall. Keep them coming! 🙂

    Like

  6. Craig A. Miller
    August 20, 2013

    Thank you so much. I wish you all the best in Asia. I have great admiration for what you are doing. Make sure you document it.

    Like

  7. oneobserving
    August 20, 2013

    Your photograph is striking – it caught my eye immediately. You write so eloquently and movingly of the power of creativity to heal. I wish you the best.

    Like

    • Craig A. Miller
      August 20, 2013

      Thank you for the kind words, Patricia. Your photgraphic notebook is a beautiful place. I love the way you ‘see’ things.

      Like

  8. thehappyhugger
    August 20, 2013

    I agree that writing is healing…you describe the process so well.
    Wishing you continued growth.

    Like

  9. Craig A. Miller
    August 20, 2013

    Thank you, Michelle. I wish you the same.

    Like

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